Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 13 Reviews

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  • Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour
    Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling...
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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    China garden of Freindship

    by mallyak Written May 4, 2008

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    Initiated by the local Chinese community to celebrate Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary and share their rich cultural heritage, the Chinese Garden is the result of a close bond of friendship and co-operation between the sister cities of Sydney in NSW, Australia, and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, China.

    This delightful enclosed Garden is a haven of tranquillity and harmony. Take a journey through the Chinese Garden of Friendship’s winding pathways. Experience the serenity of its pavilions, lakes and waterfalls. Afterwards, contemplate the beauty around you while you relax with a jasmine tea in the traditional Chinese Teahouse.

    Just minutes from downtown Sydney and the entertainment pulse of Darling Harbour, the Chinese Garden offers a rare opportunity, outside Asia, to experience century-old traditions of Chinese landscaping, architecture and garden design.

    The Chinese first migrated to Sydney in the mid 1850s, settling in The Rocks area and then relocating to what is now known as Sydney’s Chinatown. This vibrant and colourful gathering place for the Chinese community remains centred on Dixon Street and the Haymarket area.

    To preserve and share their heritage, the Chinese community advocated for the establishment of a traditional Chinese garden in Sydney’s inner city. In 1984, the Guangdong Landscape Bureau in Sydney’s sister city, Guangzhou, agreed to design the Chinese Garden of Friendship .

    The one-hectare Garden was crafted using Chinese and Australian expertise and materials. Construction commenced in March 1986 and it was officially opened on 17 January 1988 by representatives of both governments.

    The art of Chinese garden design began in imperial parks during the Zhang dynasty 3000 years ago. Later they flourished on a smaller scale in the private gardens of China's rich and powerful. These gardens reached their peak during the Ming dynasty, where they provided a gentleman’s retreat from urban environments and the pressures of civil life.

    The Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour is a scaled-down version of a typical private garden from this era.

    Chinese gardens differ from western-style gardens in that there are no planted flowerbeds or manicured lawns. Instead, wild aspects of nature are recreated in artfully designed landscapes that feature waterfalls, mountains, lakes and forests.

    The Chinese garden also embodies the principles of the Taoist philosophy of yin (calmness) and yang (activity). When opposites work together, they create a balanced whole. Contemplate the harmonious scene created by a cascading waterfall tumbling into a serenely still pond, or the elegant contrast of tall dark bamboo planted alongside rounded, flat stones.

    Exploring a Chinese garden is a journey of discovery: there are many details to be observed and only a part of the garden is visible at a time. Serpentine walkways lead you through private courtyards and traditional pagoda-style pavilions. Calligraphy, carvings and sculpture feature alongside dragons and other mythological creatures. Exotic plants abound.

    As NSW and the Guangdong province in China enjoy similar climates, many of the species found in a southern Chinese garden can also be found here. This includes many rare and unusual plants, including an ancient cyad (fossil plant) and the red silk cotton tree (a floral symbol of Guangdong).

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    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jun 8, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The Chinese Garden offer a rare opportunity here in Australia to experience a century old tradition of Chinese landscaping, garden design and architecture.

    The Gardens feature waterfalls, mountains, lakes and forests which make this type of gardening unique. There is a tea house where you can have the opportunity to dress up with ancient Chinese clothing.

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    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by saraheg77 Written Sep 12, 2005

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    The Gardens are open daily from 9:30am to 5pm (except Christmas). Entry fees are:
    Adults: $6, Children under 15: $3, Family of 2 adults & 2 kids: $15, Concession: $3

    When we first walked by the gardens and peeked in, I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend $6 to go in, but later we had time, so we came by and went through... plus, my parents got the senior discount, so that was nice. Once we got in, the gardens were much bigger than I was expecting. There was a big lake in the middle and a pathway around it with a couple of waterfalls, bridges, and a pretty temple at the top of the hill. There was also a tea room inside, but we didn't go in. There was even a spot where you could dress up in Chinese clothes and get your picture made (but that was an additional cost)... I personally wouldn't have done it even for free, but some people were dressing up and they looked like they were having fun. :)

    If you are in Darling Harbor and like gardens, check these out - they were very serene!

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    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by Quero Updated Nov 26, 2004

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    Sydney is a very green city, so this little park may not seem like a huge additon to the landscape, but because of its Asian design, it makes a nice change of pace from the open spaces otherwise found around town. There is a small tea house on the premises, so sit down and enjoy the tranquility of this urban space.

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    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by LadyRVG Updated Jul 27, 2009

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    Posing on one of the many stone bridges
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    The Chinese Garden of Friendship was one of the sights I had to see when in Sydney. We walked to Darling Harbour from Chinatown for a nice afternoon visit. The Garden was created in 1988 to celebrate Australia's Bicentenary. Chinese Garden is the result of a close bond of friendship and cooperation between the sister cities of Sydney and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, China. Entering the gardens made me feel as if I was transported to another world. Itwas hard to believe such beauty of nature existed in a sprawling city like Sydney. The gardens are filed with fowing water, plants, trees, stones and lovely architecture. Creatures such as birds, lizards and fish call the Gardens home.

    Walking through the gardens there are various rock sculptures, brisges, ponds, waterfalls and pavillions. It was so peaceful and calming to walk through the Courtyard of Welcoming Fragrance, Dragon Wall, Water Pavilion of Lotus Fragrance, Twin Pavilion, Gurr, Rock Forest, and the Penjing. There are several rock stairs throughout the garden so be careful climbing or with children...it's easy to be distracted and slip. Chris and I enjoyed the simple beauty and tranquility we felt as we wandered about the gardens.

    We spied various lizards along our travels around the property and stopped at various waterfalls just to take inthe beauty. The water elements in the garden were both stimulating with the rush of the waterfalls and calming with the stilness of the ponds. This was a peaceful and beautiful way to spend the afternoon together. I'm glad we visited this special place.

    The Garden is open daily from 9:30am-5pm.
    Adults $6
    Children (under 15 yrs) $3
    Family (2 adults & 2 children) $15
    Concession (Australian pensioners and students only) $3

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  • sirgaw's Profile Photo

    Chinese Gardens of Friendship

    by sirgaw Written Oct 18, 2009

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    Nearly all cities are frantic in pace and its rewarding to find a place of peace and tranquility such as the Chinese Gardens of Friendship in all the madness that is Sydney. Originally conceived by Chinese Australians as part of the 1988 Bicentennial of the founding of Sydney, the gardens are a delight of the senses.

    I don’t pretend to understand the finer points of Chinese gardens, but believe they are inspired by the Yin and Yang of earth, fire, water, metal and wood. It is a picturesque setting of lakes with small buildings representing pavilions, where visitors can sit and relax and enjoy the peaceful setting.

    There are mountain trails to explore and at almost every turn a harmony of stone, nature and water to evoke a sense of peace and tranquility. There are fish to watch in the water, water birds of many types and, surprisingly, lizards. There is a traditional tea house and the opportunity to dress up in Chinese costumes (fee).

    The only real down sides of these magnificent gardens are the ever present traffic noise and the occasional wail of sirens. Disabled visitors may find difficulty accessing all sections of the gardens owing to rocky and steep pathways.

    Admission prices
    $6 Adults, $3 Children under 15 and concession holders (pensioners and Australian seniors)

    Open 9.30am - 5.00pm (5.30pm daylight savings) daily except Xmas Day and Good Friday.

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  • lindyz's Profile Photo

    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by lindyz Updated Mar 9, 2010

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    On all my trips to Sydney, and in particular to Darling Harbour, this is the one place I have not yet been to, even though every time I am there I promise myself to visit. Especially, having just returned from a trip to China, I am even more adamant that my next trip to Sydney will definitely include a visit to the Gardens.

    The Chinese Gardens are situated in Darling Harbour, close to Chinatown and the Convention Centre. You can wander through Chinese landscapes, sculptures and gardens, a world away from the hussle and bussle of Sydney .... but only a few steps away. You will really feel like you are in China, when you step into the Chinese Gardens of Friendship

    Entrance fees are $6 Adult $3 Child under 15 $15 Family pass $3 Concession

    Open daily from 9.30am to 5pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday)

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  • winnietankl's Profile Photo

    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by winnietankl Written Jan 23, 2011

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    Chinese Garden is located in the heart of darling harbour. The entrance fee is AUD6 for adult and AUD3 for children and concession. You can also get the audio tour for AUD4 (in English and Mandarin). It has some beautiful stonework and awesome landscape designed and build by Chinese architects.

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Chinese Garden

    by mvtouring Written Jul 19, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chinese Garden - Sydney

    Designed in China to celebrate the bicentenary, the Chinese Garden was a gift from New South Wales' sister state, the Guangdong province in China.
    With its winding paths, waterfalls, lakes, pavilions and a teahouse that overlooks the water, the Chinese Gardens is the most beautiful natural habitat in Sydney.
    Featured behind the lake are two carvings of dragons, one representing Guangdong province and the other representing New South Wales. The Chinese Garden is also known to many as the "Garden of Friendship."

    Open...
    9:30am-5:30pm Weekdays,
    9:30am-6pm Weekends

    Cost:-
    You will have to check, too long ago that I was there

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  • Chinggis_n_Borte's Profile Photo

    Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

    by Chinggis_n_Borte Written Apr 5, 2014
    Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

    The Chinese Garden of Friendship, or "Chinese Gardens" for short, are located at Darling Harbour.
    The Gardens offer a real oasis of cool and calm in what can sometimes be a noisy city. Inside the gardens you can hardly hear the noise of the traffic. The gardens have beautiful bridges over ponds and the ponds have large carp fish swimming in them. The trees and plants are beautiful.

    There is a tea house.

    There is also a photography centre where people can pay to dress in Imperial Chinese costumes as Emperors (including a long beard for the men) and Empresses, and have their photos taken.

    There are often wedding ceremonies held in the Gardens.

    It costs $6 for adults, $3 for children under 12 years old. And there are "family - 2 adults, 2 children" discounts, and Australian students and pensioners can enter for $3.

    The Gardens are open from 9am to 5pm daily.

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  • Rambling_Rover's Profile Photo

    Chinese Garden

    by Rambling_Rover Updated Nov 18, 2009
    Chinese Garden 1
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    Known as the Garden of Friendship, the Chinese Garden was built in 1984 to show the friendship between Sydney and Guangdong China. It is a very tranquil and beautiful place to visit. We spent more time there than we had planned because it was so nice. They have a tea house where you can have a light lunch. Of special interest is a huge Dragon Wall that is fully glazed with two dragons symbolizing the sister cities and a huge pearl in the middle symbolizing prosperity. If you are looking for the tranquil and green in the middle of the tourist bustle of Darling Harbour, don't pass this up.

    Admission prices
    Adults $6
    Children (under 15 yrs) $3
    Family (2 adults & 2 children) $15
    Concession (Australian pensioners and students only) $3
    Audio Tour (English and Mandarin) $4

    Related to:
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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Chinese Garden of Friendship

    by Jim_Eliason Written Oct 29, 2008
    Chinese Garden of Friendship
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    This garden in Tumbalong park is a quiet respite from the busy city all around. Admission is $6 for adults

    Related to:
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    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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  • hennanights's Profile Photo

    Take a few photos at the Chinese Garden

    by hennanights Updated Aug 14, 2006

    This beautiful garden was a pleasure to photograph. I think I took around 50 shots. As well as the landscape there were lots of birds that hide among the branches.

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